Mesothelioma News: The Frank R. Lautenburg Chemical Safety Bill of the 21st Century Act – June 2016
On June 22, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Bill of the 21st Century Act. This piece of legislation will have the power to overhaul how the U. S. government regulates toxic chemicals possibly moving the U. S. a step closer to the banning of asbestos.
The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA) of 1979. The Bill will give the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency greater power to better review chemicals for safety and restrict their use. One of the reasons asbestos is not banned in the U. S. is because the current law requires the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to find the least burdensome way for the industry to control asbestos. Which is an unsurmountable task for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency with the current restrictions in place. The new law eliminates that provision.
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Bill
Linda Reinstein, president and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) issued a press release saying that the legislation would give the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency “clear authority to ban asbestos”. But Reinstein warned that it may still take years for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess, regulate and ban asbestos. The ADAO called for quick action on the asbestos crisis.
The Bill is named after the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, a public health advocate who banned smoking on all domestic airline flights in 1989. The Bill allows the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to:
- Evaluate new and existing chemicals using a new risk based safety standard
- Impose clear and enforceable deadlines on chemical manufacturers
- Impose more rigorous public disclosure and transparency on chemical manufacturers
- Receive additional funding to carry out its new responsibilities.